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NHS National Services Scotland sets up LIMS framework


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Doctor at microscope
Image source: Borovic

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has agreed a 10-year partnership with Citadel Health as the supplier for NHS Scotland’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) framework.

The new software will bring together NHS laboratory medicine labs and hospitals across Scotland, making it the largest network of its type in the UK.

It will support the provision of laboratory services to primary and secondary care centres and provide interfaces with patient administration systems, electronic patient records, analytical middleware, electronic order communication systems and regional and national systems.

It also provides the capability to create automation of workflows, integration of instruments, and management of samples and their associated information.

The tender notice for the framework, published in late 2020, indicated it would be worth an estimated £216 million if it includes two three-year extensions.

Seamless interfacing

Mike Gray, laboratory service manager, NHS Lothian and chair of the LIMS implementation programme, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for seamless interfacing across systems and the ability to quickly pull data from an efficient and effective LIMS on a national scale, so we sought a new LIMS supplier.

“Being able to share standardised results in real time will enable effective diagnosis for patients across the whole of the NHS Scotland, paving the pathway for improved patient outcomes.

“All boards involved look forward to working in partnership with Citadel Health to ensure the new LIMS is developed to meet NHS Scotland requirements and safely deployed across all pathology laboratories and services.”

Strategic priority

Mary Morgan, chief executive at NSS said: “Enabling health and social care transformation is one of our strategic priorities and this new partnership with Citadel Health represents a positive step for laboratory medicine in Scotland – where focusing on transformational change will lead to improved patient experience and greater efficiency, collaboration and connection across NHS Scotland boards.”

Laboratories across the majority of Scotland’s health boards perform over 100 million tests per year and employ over 4,000 staff.

Citadel Health’s Evolution vLab software is already used in NHS trusts in England and Wales.

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